Specialty retailer of leather outerwear and apparel, Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc, has slashed its full-year earnings guidance to 51-56 cents a share from 88-93 cents a share amid a slump in sales at its travel-related stores.

The Minneapolis-based retailer said those stores were experiencing lower-than-expected sales and margins but that its core stores, which account for around 85 per cent of its total revenue, are performing in line with expectations.

Wilsons said full-year sales are expected to be in the $775-$785 million range for fiscal 2002, while second quarter loss is expected to be $1.33-$1.35 per diluted share, and sales are expected to range from $87-$89m.

Its third quarter loss is seen in the range of 33-36 cents per share, while fourth quarter earnings are expected to be in the $2.80-$2.85 range and sales are expected to be approximately $410-$420m.

Full-year earnings are expected to be around $1.28-$1.31 per share and the travel stores full-year loss is anticipated to be 75-77 cents per share.

CEO Joel Waller commented: "We're confident that we now have the right plan and people in place to improve the sales and margins trends. While it will take longer than we originally anticipated to generate improvements in the travel concept, we remain committed to this niche market and continue to be optimistic about its potential to provide our company with a superior competitive position, reduced seasonality, and renewed growth opportunities."